Few days ago, a study conducted by the HffPost and YouGov found that almost 1 in 10 American wouldn’t mind to have sex with robots. From the result, you can imagine that human beings have an empathetic side for robots. This is proven yet again by the University of Duisburg, Essen in a new study.
A team of scientists at the University of Duisburg studied fMRI brain scans of 40 participants to analyze their emotions toward both humans and robots. In the first study, the participants were shown videos of a small dinosaur-shaped robot. The robot was either treated in an affectionate way, or a in a violent way. By analyzing the physiological arousal of participants, the researchers found strong reaction to the scenes of violence. In the second study, functional magnetic-resonance imaging was used to measure the emotions of participants in case of affectionate interaction towards both humans and robots. It found the same kind of brain activity pattern in both cases.
The results suggest that humans feel the same amount of empathy for robots they feel for a fellow human being. The team will present its findings at the 63rd Annual International Communication Association conference in London in June.